Verse 1 – For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob.
After the Jews exile into Babylonian captivity, God will have mercy on them and bring them out, back to their own land accompanied by foreigners.
Verse 2 – Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will posses them for servants and maids in the land of the Lord; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
This verse is a reference to Cyrus who would assist the Jews on their return out of Babylon captivity back to Judah.
Verse 3 – It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve,
Verse 4 – that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: “How the oppressor has ceased, the golden city ceased!
Verse 5 – The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers;
Verse 6 – He who struck the people in wrath a continual stroke, he who ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted and no one hinders.
The staff of the wicked is the scepter of the king of Babylon. The scepter was the symbol of supreme power. God permitted Babylon to have temporary power for the purpose of bringing His wayward people back to Him. When that purpose was complete, Babylon was defeated and lost its power.
Verse 7 – The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.
Verse 8 – Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were cut down, no woodsman has come up against us.’
Verse 9 – “Hell from beneath is exalted about you, to meet you at your coming; it stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all kings of the nations.
This verse is referring to those who have gone on before and will rise up to meet the king of Babylon in hell.
Verse 10 – They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us?
Don’t miss this: they are departed kings and they are speaking. They are conscious when they ask the ones that just came, if they are as without power as they are.
So many references in the Bible to talk about the departed as being “asleep.” However, just as this verse, there are other references to the departed to hell being able to speak. Luke 16:19-31, tells of a rich man dying and looked up and saw Abraham far away. The spirit of man does live on. Let’s just make sure we go to the right place after death. That decision has to be made while living – choose life – Jesus.
Verse 11 – Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you.
Verse 12 – “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
Although Satan may fit these verses 12-14, he does not fit well with the rest of the chapter. Isaiah could be talking about Sennacherib or Nebuchadnezzar, kings with supreme power that people looked up to as God’s. These kings wanted to rule the world. Pride was Satan’s sin as well as Babylon’s.
Verse 13 – For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north,
Any person no matter how powerful, that attempts to take the place of God, is the ultimate expression of arrogance and pride.
Verse 14 – I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.;
Verse 15 – Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the pit.
Verse 16 – “Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
Verse 17 – who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
The scene here changes, and the prophet introduces those who would contemplate the body of the king of Babylon after he would be slain.
Verse 18 – “All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, everyone in his own house;
Verse 19 – But you are cast out of your brave like an abominable branch, like the garment of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a corpse trodden underfoot.
Verse 20 – You will be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and slain your people. The brood of evildoers shall never be named,
This king will not be given a decent burial but will be dead on the battlefield, surrounded and covered by other dead bodies.
Verse 21 – prepare slaughter for his children because of the iniquity of their fathers, lest they rise up and posses the land, and fill the face of the world with cities.”
The children would be cut off, all the branches of the royal family – not recover.
Verse 22 – “For I will rise up against them,” says the Lord of hosts, “And cut off from Babylon the name of the remnant, and offspring and posterity,” says the Lord.
Verse 23 – “I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, and marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” says the Lord of host.
God intended to cut off all the heirs to the throne of Babylon. The entire family will cease to exist. This kingdom would be terminated. This is not talking about Nebuchadnezzar because he had successors, but the king of Babylon.
Verse 24 – The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
Verse 25 – That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and on My mountains tread him under foot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden removed from their shoulders.
Verse 26 – This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
Verse 27 – For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?”
This prophecy came true – 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37:27-38.
In order for us to understand the purpose for each of our lives, we must draw near to the living God. When God’s desires for us become bigger than our desires, we will see things start to shift. But, we must keep in mind, that purpose is always bigger and involves other people to accomplish it. God doesn’t give us the whole picture at once or it would be too overwhelming. He puts a dream on the inside and then step by step leads us in the direction we are to go. Is it frustrating some times? Yes, but if you stay close to Him He will be a lamp unto your feet. There’s always preparations before the victory.
Verse 28 – This is the burden which came in the year Ahaz died.
Verse 29 – “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, because the rod that struck you is broken; for out of the serpent’s root will come forth a viper, and its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
Verse 30 – The firstborn of the poor will feed, and the needy will lie down in safety; I will kill your roots with famine, and it will slay your remnant.
Because of Philistia’s oppression of Judah, the poor had grown poorer, but with its destruction, there will be a reversal of their fortunes.
Verse 31 – Wail, O gate! Cry, O city! All you of Philistia are dissolved; for smoke will come from the north, and no one will be alone in his appointed times.”
The Assyrian army would come with a cloud of smoke, because there was so many, to destroy Philistia.
Verse 32 – What will one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the Lord has founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.
Philistia tried to convince Judah to join with them in resisting the armies of the Assyrians. But Judah’s trust should be in Zion (God), not in foreign alliances.